Iste Confessor / The Sixteen

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Followers of The Sixteen will recognize this Coro title as identical to the choir's 1997 release on Collins (now deleted). Of course, you have to open the package and read the very small print on the back of the liner booklet to find out for sure--just one of several annoying, user-unfriendly design features present on Coro's first batch of discs (including the near-impossible-to-remove "security" tape and the listing of tracks and timings only on the back of the disc box). Fortunately, the music and performances are outstanding, the sound is vibrant, and we're treated to first-rate interpretations of rarely heard repertoire.

Scarlatti's Stabat mater has received several decent recordings--nearly all of which appear on programs with works by other composers--but the rest of this all-Scarlatti disc fills gaps in the catalog that are important more than just for musicological reasons. The Te Deum, the Missa Breve "La Stella", and the lovely hymn setting Iste Confessor are significant works that extend the common view of this composer from essentially a keyboard master to a more detailed and rounded picture that includes a serious facility for choral writing. The Sixteen is in top form--just listen to the last minute or so of the Te Deum--and Scarlatti often surprises with an unusually clever fugal idea or flashy harmonic sequence (again, the ending of the Te Deum). If you have the Collins disc, you won't need to replace it; if you don't, then grab this and enjoy.
--David Vernier,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: COR16003

  • UPC: 828021600326

  • Label: Coro

  • Composer: Alessandro Scarlatti, Domenico Scarlatti

  • Conductor: Harry Christophers

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: The Sixteen

  • Performer: Elizabeth Kenny, Ian Watson, Robin Jeffrey